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Brokers experiencing problems with lenders due to the pandemic

Brokers are still finding it difficult to operate due to issues caused by the pandemic, Virgin Money research shows.

A number of intermediaries are frustrated at changing lender criteria (50%) lenders being unable to maintain expected service levels (40%) and a tightening of policy (39%).

Despite the challenges conditions appear to be improving, as 44% of brokers said they thought the pandemic was having a big impact on their business, down from 54% in October 2020.

Sarah Green, head of mortgage distribution and general insurance at Virgin Money, said: “Our research shows that brokers think consumer confidence has been knocked because of multiple lockdowns and, while it is positive that we now have a roadmap out of lockdown, there is much economic uncertainty ahead which is likely to make buyers and sellers nervous.

“The challenges faced by brokers as they navigate these unprecedented times are consistent with those reported in our survey from October and emphasise how essential it is we deliver on the needs of intermediaries.

“This is a key reason for us recently launching a dual branded BDM team, so brokers can have direct access to a team when working on a transaction.”

Over a quarter (26%) of brokers see the availability of higher LTV products as a key challenge, so are likely to have welcomed the introduction of the Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee Scheme.

Three in five (60%) predict lockdown three to have negative impact on house sales in 2021.

This is due to buyers or sellers’ concern over their finances (79%), as the pandemic continues to hit jobs and cause economic uncertainty.

This is also leading to nervousness about the housing market (61%) and concerns over house prices (50%), which brokers predict could cause property sales to fall.